Shop-Stop-Eat at Westfield London:
Westfield is my nearest shopping centre. Less than 10 minutes on the train from home, full of luxury brands and, rather dangerously, some great places to eat out. Right now, until the end of February there are a whole range of special offers in most of the restaurants to tempt you in.
When you walk into the main shopping centre the first thing you will find is a parade of restaurants, including The Meat Company, a South African steakhouse. I was keen to try and had heard great things, although in fairness reviewing a restaurant on Monday afternoon isn’t necessarily going to provide a great ambience. When we arrived the bar area was empty, although I’ve walked past plenty of times in the evening to see a lively crowd. But, the advantage of a quiet bar is that you get to chat to the staff who were, without exception, helpful and friendly.
I like the idea of The Meat Co. Good quality steak, simple dishes and excellent wine. Sounds about right doesn’t it?
We started by sharing a plate of Boerewors, a grilled African beef sausage on a bed of pap (polenta). Nice but not remarkable, at £9. Of course I have no way of saying if it was authentic or not. It WAS beautifully presented though
We asked for recommendations for our main course steaks and ended up ordering the ‘mushroom New Yorker’ and a super aged rib-eye.
I enjoyed the mushroom New Yorker, but if I’m honest it was just a little disappointing to find quite a lot of fat and gristle lurking under the sauce. My order, medium rare, was reasonably served but at £32.50 for a small steak I expected something a little better. As the menu isn’t particularly clear, I asked the waiter what the base steak was and was told that it was New York Strip Steak. In fact, it seemed fattier and gristlier than my companion’s rib-eye. Perhaps it simply wasn’t properly trimmed.
My companion fared rather better with his rib-eye, which was remarkably lean by comparison. He’d ordered his steak with a side sauce of blue cheese and vodka which was quite delicious.
Sides of creamed spinach and green beans and cherry tomatoes were excellent – as were the hand cut chips
We shared a desert, the iconic malva pudding (£6.50), Nelson Mandela’s favourite dessert with £1.00 of every sale at The Meat Co. donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. A rather wicked sponge with apricot jam, this was a fruity take on sticky toffee pudding.
And, we did very much enjoy our wine, a £30 bottle of 7even Rood 2010 from South Africa which was easy to drink and a good match for the steaks. The wine list is extensive and there are options from under £20, although I’d recommend trying one of the mid-range South African specialities.
Would I return? Well, yes, but on the basis of what we tried I’d probably avoid the speciality steaks which seemed expensive for something that wasn’t up to the offerings of something similar at Goodman or Hawksmoor . I suspect the burgers provide rather better value along with some of the South African specialities like the boerwors or the beef ribs.
On to Searcys for champagne, we really enjoyed our tasting of two champagnes. I do occasionally indulge in seafood and champagne at the airport when I am flying somewhere and have time to kill. And, I’ve been to Searcys in Westfield before because just as now, they often have promotions that are almost unavoidably when you are shoppping. Right now you can enjoy a range of offers including a £10 champagne lunch with an open sandwich and a glass of champagne or 30% off selected bottles.
Now, if you pop along to Westfield in the near future, make sure you go to the concierge desk and pick up a ‘we are dining’ booklet or download it from the Westfield site. That way you can take advantage of the great discounts on food and drink during January and February. And I’d recommend trying the special set lunch at the Meat Co or one of the Searcys offers. Both excellent ways to eat out in style on a budget